Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) – Review

4 Stars

Of all movies in the original Star Trek saga the Nicolas Meyer directed films are not only the best written in the series, they are also the most polished in terms of film-making. In the thrilling second installment we were introduced to the greatest villain in the franchise with Khan. Much like the James Bond films each Star Trek chapter is defined by the villain to an extent. And with this entry we are given General Chang one of the all-time great bad guys and with the performance by Christopher Plummer we have arguably the classiest thespian to ever enter the Trek universe.

The subtitle is a reference to a Shakespeare quote (“you’ve never read it unless you’ve heard it in the original Klingon” one Klingon suggests). The story as a whole is an allegory to the Berlin wall coming down and the end of the cold war era. It is also a Ten Little Indians subplot involving a killer hiding amongst the Enterprise crew. If an Agatha Christie reference is too obscure than how about this one; it plays like CSI: Outer Space.

While the original cast grows older and looks wilted in action scenes with obvious stunt men standing in, their comic timing and sensibilities have grown stronger. Maybe it’s a case of actors inhabiting their roles for so long that it can easily be played tongue in cheek when the script calls for it. The film is dedicated to Gene Roddenberry and perhaps that’s why this entry was given what appears to be a little more care. Particularly after the abysmal Part V that nearly derailed the entire franchise. The Undiscovered Country is the last installment in the venerable series to feature the original cast exclusively. It’s also unquestionably my favorite chapter in the Star Trek cinematic universe.

Director: Nicholas Meyer
Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Christopher Plummer

One thought on “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) – Review

  • August 26, 2013 at 6:27 am

    It is indeed an excellent film and the last shot of them all together on the bridge is the way I like to remember the original cast. What was done to Kirk in the following film is unforgivable and easily the worst decision made in the decades old franchise.


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